SMS driver gets 4 yrs

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by flyingdutch, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    Is there something I'm missing here?
    only heard radio briefly but a guy who wasnt drinking, looking at his SMS's on phone while driving kills 2 passengers and gets 4 years jail

    Silvia Ciach killed cyclist Anthony Marsh and gets zippo!

    WTF???????????????? :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:
     
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  2. endroll

    endroll New Member

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    will it ever change....the fact that these accidents do not change anything is just plain sad

    oh and let's not have another "youse a dumb block-head mate" slinging match as per my similar remarks with reference to German driver and Australian women's cyclists...


     
  3. Max

    Max Guest

    yep if you want to kill someone in this country and get away almost
    scott free do it with a car.

    endroll wrote:
    > will it ever change....the fact that these accidents do not change
    > anything is just plain sad
    >
    > oh and let's not have another "youse a dumb block-head mate" slinging
    > match as per my similar remarks with reference to German driver and
    > Australian women's cyclists...
    >
    >
    > flyingdutch Wrote:
    >
    >>Is there something I'm missing here?
    >>only heard radio briefly but a guy who wasnt drinking, looking at his
    >>SMS's on phone while driving kills 2 passengers and gets 4 years jail
    >>
    >>Silvia Ciach killed cyclist Anthony Marsh and gets zippo!
    >>
    >>WTF???????????????? :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    >
    >
    >


    --
    Regards

    Paul Smart

    I repeat- your life is just a test life.
    Had it been an actual life you would have received further instructions
    on what to do and where to go.

    http://www.ipswichbug.org
     
  4. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Ah, yes - you are likely missing *all* the facts. There are inconsistencies in sentencing all right. But the media (print and electronic) are in the business of getting and keeping your attention, not giving you the (boring) facts and details that a court hears in a matter.

    The media seldom is absolutely truly totally objective - reflecting normal human nature. This morning I was listening to 2 docs on the radio disagreeing about a healthcare issue. The commentator clearly agreed more with one than the other. He closed the segment with "thank you to Bill Johns and Doctor John Smith." Not hard to guess which doctor he agreed with.

    Also, where similar matters start to come before the courts more frequently, sentences also creep upwards as courts begin to put more emphasis on the disincentive aspect of sentencing - SMSing while driving leading to death might be one of those types of offences. Perhaps irrespective of who is killed.

    And maybe one court was on the lower side of the 'reasonable' range and the other was on the upper side of the same 'reasonable' range.

    SteveA
     
  5. cfsmtb

    cfsmtb New Member

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    Article from todays Age, that makes reference to that incident:

    Driver jailed after two die in text crash
    http://www.theage.com.au/news/natio...e-in-text-crash/2006/03/08/1141701576129.html
    By Andrew Thomson. March 9, 2006

    A COUNTY Court judge has called for a campaign to warn of the dangers of drivers using mobile telephones, before jailing a 23-year-old man for four years and six months.

    Marcus Stephen Johnstone, of Penshurst in south-west Victoria, had read a mobile telephone message and was trying to delete it when he lost control of the car he was driving on July 24, 2004. Passengers Emily Compton, 13, and Stephanie McCoy, 14, from Warrnambool, were killed instantly, and Jessica McCosh, 15 at the time, was seriously injured in the accident near Cobden.

    A Warrnambool jury last week found Johnstone guilty of two counts of culpable driving and one charge of negligent driving causing serious injury. He must serve a non-parole period of two years and three months.

    Judge Jane Campton said yesterday that a public awareness campaign was required, similar to those warning against drink driving and speeding.

    She said there were similarities between Johnstone's case and that of Geelong woman Silvia Ciach. Ciach walked free from court after pleading guilty to culpable driving in November 2003. She had been writing a text message when she hit and killed a cyclist. She received a suspended jail term on the urging of the victim's family.

    Judge Campton said that Johnstone had been responsible for the safety of his six passengers and two had died because of his inattention. While his guilt would be a terrible punishment in itself, her sentence had to deter others.

    She said the families of the dead girls had suffered enormously. Jessica McCosh suffered from post traumatic stress syndrome, had ongoing pain, and could lose a kidney.

    Stephanie McCoy's mother, Deb, said yesterday that the jail term was "not going to help us but it may help save someone else a similar experience. At least it was not just a slap on the wrist."
     
  6. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    I'm sure Anthony Marsh's family and friends are playing a social game of 'spot the similarities' as we speak :mad:

    If this kid's sentence was to deter people, why is there such a blatant lower value placed on a cyclist's life and lower sentence to boot. What message is that? What deterent is that?
    SweetFA. Again.
     
  7. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Firstly let me say that I am not attempting to argue that a cyclist's life has any lesser value than another non-cyclist's life or that hitting a cyclist in a car is not a terrible thing to do. Like FD, I am trying to make some sense of the 2 cases.

    Taking the Age's report as an accurate and reasonably complete statement of the facts, the bits that jump out at me are:

    1. Ciach was charged and convicted of 1 offence. Johnstone was charged and convicted of 3 times that many offences. Ciach killed 1 person. Johnstone killed 2 people and badly injured 1 person.

    2. Ciach received a suspended jail term on the urging of the victim's family. The desires of the victim's family seem to have been taken into account in sentencing Ciach. Sounds like she would be in jail now if not for the "urging of the victim's family".

    3. Depending on the terms of the judgement, if Ciach does the wrong thing (not sure what the 'wrong thing' is, as I have not seen the court orders), she goes to jail. She will do 2 years (less good behaviour etc same as Johnstone).

    4. The Judge's comments as reported give a very stong flavour that the Court is starting to get tougher on SMSing that causes fatal accidents. Reading between the lines, the next person that kills someone due to mobile phone use in a vehicle is likely to get a tougher punishment again.

    I may be unnaturally optomistic (or even a bit thick), but I do not read any significance into the fact that the earlier 'lighter' punishment concerned the death of a cyclist while the later 'harsher' punishment concerned the deaths of 2 non-cyclists and the serious injury of a third non-cyclist.

    Like I said, I'm not looking to minimise the seriousness of the Ciach case but trying to reconcile the 2 sentences.

    And I think you have to say that the Courts getting tough on idiots who use mobile phones while driving is a good thing.

    SteveA
     
  8. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    agree with everything you say, but...

    i sadly doubt the end results would have been much different if the recent incident happened first and Anthony MArsh was killed more recently...
     
  9. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    got on the blower to John Faine a little while ago and ranted about the SMS driver subject and suggested rather than fining the drivers, take the phone off them.
    About an hour later someone sent in a friggin great suggestion asking why dont Insurance Co's NOT cover people who cause accidents when SMSing is involved. JF just had a spokeperson from AAMI on.
    I'm guessin this could have legs, as any insurance Co will love the opportunity NOT to pay out

    stay tuned...
     
  10. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    flyingdutch wrote:

    > About an hour later someone sent in a friggin great suggestion asking
    > why dont Insurance Co's NOT cover people who cause accidents when
    > SMSing is involved.


    That would be absolutely great for the victims, wouldn't it.
    Would you feel better knowing that the person who hits you while on the
    phone is not insured?

    Theo
     
  11. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Confiscate the phone. Ban them from owning or using a phone for an appropriate period of time.

    SteveA
     
  12. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    i would imagine the insurance coverage would NOT cover the SMSers damage but the third party (or perhaps even civil liability???) would be the part denied.
     
  13. In article <[email protected]>,
    "Theo Bekkers" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > That would be absolutely great for the victims, wouldn't it.
    > Would you feel better knowing that the person who hits you while on the
    > phone is not insured?


    It would be like the situation with drink driving. In Victoria, injuries
    are covered by no-fault compulsory insurance via the Transport Accident
    Commission, and third parties are covered; it's just the driver's car
    that's not covered.

    --
    Shane Stanley
     
  14. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    Yeah, the AAMI guy made a reference to that...
     
  15. Stomper

    Stomper Guest

    It's truly scarry being on the road at present and more people are
    going to get hurt.

    I was walking down Spingvale Road yesterday to pick up my bike which
    was being serviced.

    Out of the first 20 cars that passed in the opposite direction 4 were
    on mobile phones and one was trying to read the newspaper while he was
    driving - insanity prevails!

    Karl aka Stomper
     
  16. Stomper

    Stomper Guest

    Nah - take their license away and stop them from driving!


    Karl aka Stomper
     
  17. In aus.bicycle on 10 Mar 2006 19:10:31 -0800
    Stomper <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Nah - take their license away and stop them from driving!


    One doesn't necessarily follow the other.

    IF they feel they need the car, they'll keep using the car. Licence
    or no.

    Zebee
     
  18. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    Stomper wrote:
    > Nah - take their license away and stop them from driving!


    I saw a figure in the paper recently that suggests that more than half of
    suspended drivers drive their cars every day. Unfortunately the chances of
    getting caught are very slim. And what are you going to get if caught? A
    longer suspension? A non-enforcable sentence is not a sentence at all.

    Theo
     
  19. Tamyka Bell

    Tamyka Bell Guest

    Zebee Johnstone wrote:
    >
    > In aus.bicycle on 10 Mar 2006 19:10:31 -0800
    > Stomper <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > Nah - take their license away and stop them from driving!

    >
    > One doesn't necessarily follow the other.
    >
    > IF they feel they need the car, they'll keep using the car. Licence
    > or no.
    >
    > Zebee


    If they need the car for work, they'll appeal and maybe get to keep
    their licence anyway. I had a mate who boasted he got off doing 160km/h
    (motorbike) with that one. I told him I thought he was a dickhead and I
    wasn't impressed at all.

    Tam
     
  20. In aus.bicycle on Mon, 13 Mar 2006 11:39:03 +1000
    Tamyka Bell <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > If they need the car for work, they'll appeal and maybe get to keep
    > their licence anyway. I had a mate who boasted he got off doing 160km/h
    > (motorbike) with that one. I told him I thought he was a dickhead and I
    > wasn't impressed at all.


    It seems to be very magistrate dependent.

    The upper crust whitefella courts in places like Mosman were notorious
    for giving back licences, whereas the poorer more ethnic places tended
    to take them away.

    Old Boy's club or something.

    I seem to recall it got to be such a scandal that there were new
    sentencing guidelines in NSW to make it much harder to get to keep
    your licence.

    Zebee
     
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